"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to and your ground and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm with the, with the belt of truth buckled around you waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests."
Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ..."
2 Corinthians 10: 5 NKJV
Faith. In the New Living Translation of the Bible, in Hebrews 11:1, it is describes faith as "the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see."
If there was ever a subject we've heard preached on
innumerable times, this is it. Even
those who aren't avid church goers have heard the subject discussed on more
occasions than they can count, I'm sure.
But despite all the times we've sat through sermons, TV programs, or
grandma's testimonies about the necessity of it, it's still easy to fall victim
to faltering faith, so we still can't hear too much of it.
The hardest thing for me to wrap my mind around as it relates to faith is that our concern is what we are requesting God for, but His greatest concern is the faith with which we make that request. It doesn't mean He isn't interested in our lives and our needs, but His priority is our faith. We don't even stand a chance of leading lives that please Him if we allow our faith to fall by the wayside.
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
Hebrews 11:6 NKJV
"These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised."
Hebrews 11:39 NIV
Martin Luther King, Jr once said of faith that it "...is taking the first step when you can't see the whole staircase".... When looking at calamities such as Hurricane Sandy and other natural disasters, it's so easy for our once strong faith to be shaken. In watching the news coverage from here in Miami, I've seen people, namely in New Jersey and New York who have lost so much. The possible costs to repair damage to personal and public property is rising and I wonder if those more severely affected by the storm are, understandably, having trouble with not being able to see the "staircase" MLK referred too. This is the true stuff that faith is made of, I guess.
We cannot associate faith only with the belief that there is a higher power that we call "God."It is so much more than that. It isn't something we can just slip in and out of on occasion. We must carry it close at all times. The enemy knows that if he can interject doubt and fear, he will have one leg up on us. When the flaming arrows of discouragement start whizzing through the air we have to use the "Shield of Faith" to protect ourselves. 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us that "...God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline," so fear is not supposed to find a cozy spot within our lives to reside. Combat that with the weapons we have been given. Remind yourself (and the enemy) of the Word of God and hold up the Faith. I know sometimes it gets heavy, but in His strength, our weakness will disappear. I gently encourage us: Don't give up.
**Let's not forget to keep all those affected by Hurricane Sandy, including our international neighbors, in our prayers.**
Shari Grant is a Registered Nurse in South Florida, where she was raised in a (very!) Jamaican home. Some of the loves of her life are words (both reading and writing them) and missions work. She enjoys spending time with friends and family while living for a good laugh - one that makes her belly ache and her eyes water. Her bottom line goal in life is to make the Lord smile and maybe even serve Him up a chuckle from time to time, too.
*Photos of women are from the Armor Edition, the fashion collection of JK Experience.